Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trump met with a leader of the land transfer movement

BY Tay Wiles

The current movement in Western states to transfer federal public lands to state control has ramped up in the past four years, becoming an important campaign issue in state and federal races, and for some voters, in the presidential election. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton opposes a large-scale transfer but Republican candidate Donald Trump’s stance is murkier. But in late August, Elko County, Nevada, Commissioner Demar Dahl, a major figure in the pro-land-transfer movement, met one-on-one with Trump. Dahl told High Country News last week that the two men talked for about ten minutes about the land transfer idea, preceding a dinner fundraiser for the candidate at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
During that private conversation with Trump, the commissioner drew a comparison between the nominee’s hotel business and federal land management to explain his perspective: “How efficiently would your hotels operate if eight out of every 10 floors were managed by the federal government?” Dahl, a cattle rancher and co-founder of the land transfer group American Lands Council, recalled asking Trump.

 Dahl said Trump was receptive to the idea of transferring federal land to state control in Nevada, where 85 percent of the land is managed by the federal government: “He said, ‘I’m with you.’” During his speech at the fundraiser afterward, Trump took an informal audience poll to gauge support for a land transfer, Dahl recalled. The crowd of several hundred cheered loudly for a transfer, Dahl said...

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